There are many good reasons to grow an indoor herb garden. For beginning gardeners, it can be a satisfying first experience. For beginning and experienced gardeners alike, it can be a perfect solution to
limited gardening space. No matter what, it is a great way for home cooks to keep fresh, home-grown herbs on hand.
If you decide to give it a try, there are some important factors to consider. The first step is to find the right spot. It is best have your garden in a location that gets eight or more hours of direct sunlight each day. If your garden is not getting enough sunlight, you can use grow lights or florescent work lights suspended 4 to six inches above the plants to augment the natural light. You can tell if your herbs are not getting the light they need if the leaves become elongated, appear faded, or suddenly begin to fall off the stems.
When you have decided on a location for your garden, figure out which particular herbs you would like to grow. You can study nursery catalogs, or ask your local nursery staff, or you can just select the herbs you like the most. Your best bets are oregano, chives, mint, rosemary, basil, parsley, and thyme. These all frequently appear in popular recipes and they are all attractive and fragrant. They are also fairly hearty, and are relatively easy to successfully transplant outside later.
Some gardeners and cooks have such a fondness for Italian cooking that they grow and indoor or outdoor Italian herb garden. You could specialize in a national cuisine as well, if that suits your interests and tastes.
The staff at your local nursery can help you find the right containers for the indoor garden. Be sure the containers are at least 6 to 8 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches across for each plant. If
you use a larger container, group the plants 6 to 8 inches apart. Drainage is key when setting up the containers. Place screen mesh across the drainage holes at the bottom of the containers, and place the containers in a tray of gravel. Use a potting mix that drains well and is suited well to herbs and indoor use. Your local nursery or garden center will have many options, and a willing staff to help you select the right mix.
Layer potting mix into the bottom of the containers. Carefully set the plants into the potting mix at the depth they were growing in the nursery pots, and water them. It
is essential that you do not over water your herbs. A thorough watering no more them twice a week should be plenty. If you like, you can supplement the potting mix once or twice a month with a fertilizer approved for use with edibles.
Let new growth appear prior to you harvest your herbal remedies, and avoid more than harvesting. Clip the outer leaves as you require them, leaving lots of healthy growth on the stems. That way, the herbal remedies will continue to create usable leaves and sprigs for very some time.
You might encounter a couple of pitfalls with your indoor garden. Indoor air lacks the humidity of outdoor air and you might have to supply the herbs with added moisture by misting the leaves or adding water to the gravel-line drainage tray. You also might encounter a issue with insects. If so, fill a spray bottle tepid, soapy water and spray the leaves and stems. The soapy solution will kill off the intruders without having harming the plants.
The only thing left to do is enjoy the aroma and flavor of fresh herbs, and the satisfaction of having successfully grown an indoor herb garden. Whether you are a beginning or experienced gardener, or a beginning or experienced cook, the results of your labors will undoubtedly be rewarding.
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